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Lot 058: Mercedes-Benz 300b 'Adenauer' Cabriolet

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (13 July 2011)

Mercedes launched the 300 Series at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was a seriously up-market car, very technologically advanced for its day, and firmly aimed at heads-of-state and captains of industry. The model's engineering, luxury, price point and low production rates placed it at the very top of the Mercedes range. The then German Chancellor, Dr Konrad Adenauer, famously ran a fleet of six of these cars and consequently the range has always been nicknamed 'Adenauer'. The 300b was an upgraded model introduced in 1954 and featuring an additional 10hp, larger brakes, higher compression engine and twin Solex carbs. This car's papers show that it is an original factory right-hand-drive model, one of only a handful made, and built to order for supply to Melbourne, Australia and dispatched in October 1954  complete with 'wooden wheels' to protect it during transport! Originally a saloon, the car was converted to drophead body style and was to remain in Australia for over 40 years before coming to the UK in late 2009. It then underwent a programme of bodywork refurbishment including a complete respray (photographic record included) and is presented in a stunning shade of navy blue. Whilst remaining a numbers-matching car, a later floor-change gearbox has been fitted (a common upgrade and reputedly using the gearbox from the 300SL Gullwing range) and it has been converted from the original Solex carburettors to triple Webers. The straight-six 3-litre performs strongly and has a glorious exhaust note on the road. Overall this Adenauer is said to be in "very good condition" with a lovely cherry red leather and wood interior, serviceable soft-top and very good brightwork. Said to drive well, it is fully roadworthy with UK V5 and an MOT current to February 2012. A number of papers accompany the car, including a copy of the Mercedes-Benz factory build-record, papers showing Australian ownership, shipping, export and EU import papers and also a Mercedes-Benz Classic Service Manual and Parts List (on CD). The car has immense presence on the road and is an immediate attraction at any show. One to drive and enjoy 'as-is' or improve to show/concours standard  the choice is yours! Values in Europe are strong with Motor Klassik magazine showing values at circa 75,000 Euros for a 300b saloon increasing to 175,000 Euros for the cabriolet. The build quality of these cars is exceptional and the detailing is exquisite  just look at those fabulous door pockets. This rare right-hand drive saloon conversion looks most tempting at the guide price suggested today and offers an affordable route into Adenauer cabriolet ownership.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number058
Estimate£75000-£80000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1954
Condition rating
Registration number746 XUT
Mileage-
Chassis numberR186 011-45 00919
Engine numberR186 920-45 00901
Engine capacity (cc)2996
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors4